10/6/21 Do you have a junk drawer full of different chargers for every device you own? Are they tangled up like last season’s holiday lights? Did you buy a new phone with yet another different charger model? The EU has a simple solution that will cut down on all that electronic waste and reduce consumer frustration – harmonize mobile phone chargers by establishing an industry standard. The European Commission will soon introduce legislation to decouple the sale of chargers from devices and will require all smartphones sold in the EU to use USB-C chargers by 2024.
USB-C is a logical and versatile choice because it is compatible with USB 2.0 micro-B and USB 3.0, it transmits data and power on a single cable, it runs faster data transfer, it is smaller and thinner than the USB port, and it is already the format used for all new Android devices.
But not everyone is on board with conformity. Apple has its own Lightning connector port for its iPhone. The company claims that forcing connectors to conform will hurt technological innovation, create more electronic waste, and confuse customers.
The EU’s legislation is part of the push for “a Europe fit for the digital age” that will make charger conformity “a matter of urgency in order to avoid further internal market fragmentation,” according to the European Parliament. The Commission’s 2019 Impact Assessment Study found that half of chargers sold in 2018 used USB micro-B, 29% were USB-C, and 21% were Lightning.